World-leading engineering teams work with DP Seals to develop world-beating sub-sea connectors
Around the world, wet-mate and dry-mate signal, data and power connectors rely on DP Seals’ custom rubber seals and mouldings to operate in harsh environments, or where environments absolutely cannot mix.
A key to DP Seals’ success has been its ability to work closely with its customers to optimise an engineering solution as this story illustrates. 15 years ago, an engineering director contacted DP Seals: they wanted to make fibre optic connectors that could be mated underwater without contaminating the faces. The director knew he needed rubber mouldings and that DP Seals made them. That was the start point: a need and a few ideas. Together, they created a solution and developed a prototype. That same product is still being manufactured in volume today.
DP Seals’ knowledge and experience in materials selection and tooling design makes it the company of choice when it comes to developing custom rubber seals and mouldings at such world-leading companies as D G O’Brien, (Tronic) and SEACON (europe).
To meet the exacting demands of in-field installation of fibre-optic and hybrid cables, DP Seals and SEACON (europe) jointly developed a novel cable gland technology that provides both anchorage and sealing onto each layer within the cable construction The gland is based on SEACON’s proven hybrid dry-mate FITA MSSQ series connector, already deployed extensively in sub-sea cable networks.
Cut-away of SEACON (europe)'s MSSQ Connector showing seals, glands and boots
Two nitrile sealing glands seal the outer sheath and steel tube, locked into place with tapered sleeves to ensure controlled compression is maintained at all times. Additional nitrile boots provide secondary sealing onto the individual optical fibres whilst also preventing the ingress of pressure compensating fluid from within the connector into the steel tube.
Seals, glands and boots from an Tronic DigiTRON wet-mate connector
DP Seals also worked with Tronic to develop its patented “controlled environment” connection principle for the wet-mate optical/electrical connectors widely used within the oil and gas industry. Right from the start DP Seals worked with Tronic’s design team, developing prototypes and testing materials to attain the maximum durability and protection in what can be a very demanding environment. Incorporating true redundancy sealing and compensated elements to eliminate differential pressures, these connectors allow mate/demate operation not just in seawater but also in sand and silt environments.
The principle has since been extended to almost all of Tronic’s sub-sea connectors, including the acclaimed FoeTRON fibre optic wellhead feedthrough systems and wet mateable fibre optical/electrical connectors.
From initial concept through to volume manufacture, DP Seals worked with both these companies to develop the multiple seals and boots that are fundamental to the operation of such highly innovative connector systems, allowing optical, electrical and power cables to be mated underwater safely and easily. Specially formulated hydrogenated nitriles were developed to ensure high tensile strength, saltwater tolerance and effectiveness at the high pressures and low temperatures intrinsic to sub-sea environments.
Working hand-in-hand with design engineers, we provide advice on materials and performance to help ensure products meet specification. And, to meet requests from engineering companies at the cutting edge of their technologies, we continuously investigate new compounds through our on-going R&D programme.
Every customer receives the same high level of service from DP Seals: uncompromising quality control.
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